Thursday, 24 July 2014


The Centenary of the First World War seemed as good a time as any to see War Horse, which has been on my list of things to do for a number of years.
War Horse
New London Theatre
The basic premise of the play is well known; set during the First World War, with men and horses  caught up in a tale of universal suffering. This is by no means a stereotypical story of good against evil and it is not afraid to portray the suffering and misery ''from the other side of the trench''.

The horses are, famously, puppets, realised in such a way that the required suspension of disbelief takes no special effort.

Without spoiling the story for those who have yet to see the play, it is enough to say War Horse thoroughly deserves its tremendous reputation (it's far more than merely ''Lassie with horses'' as someone once described it to me) Just don't get too attached to any of the characters, human or otherwise.

For further information, head for the official War Horse website.

Staying with the First World War, I paid a visit to the Imperial War Museum to look at the brand new First World War Galleries.

The galleries are well worth a visit. Entry is free. I got there early and was in the first bunch of visitors but there was a queue for subsequent sessions (but it's worth the wait).

There are plenty of artifacts, lots of detailed visitor notes and even a recreation of a trench, complete with authentic machine gun noise and other sounds.

To round off the WW1 part of my London trip, I called in at the British Library to see their Enduring War: Grief, Grit and Humour exhibition.

It's a relatively small exhibition (and another free one) but is definitely worthy of attention. The propaganda aspect (based largely on guilt) is particularly striking, as these sample posters demonstrate.
All very interesting stuff.

My next museum trip, which will be highlighted tomorrow, was an altogether different experience...

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